Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The HANGA prototype
For some time I have been toying with the idea of designing brooches that you can hang your reading glasses from. In fact, also sun glasses, identity badges and anything else that my come to mind (maybe charms or ipod ear pieces?). My original idea was to incorporate a hanging ring into the brooch design but so far I have been unable to source any suitable solid metal (rather than plated) rings here in New Zealand. The only suitable ones I have found, from America, are not viable due to the excessive postage costs.

Keen to try out the idea, as feedback from initial discussions with several people has been very positive, I made my first prototype last month (around 15 August) purely from polymer clay. I have road tested it as a brooch, for both functionality and feedback, at the last few events that I have done. The comments have been encouraging and I have already had a couple of potential orders, so I intend to make some for this years Christmas markets. It seems quite strong and durable just being made from polymer clay – and most importantly, it works. I have used my only pair of reading glasses and they have not fallen off!

Several people have said that they do not wear brooches but would love one as a pendant, so I was considering making some of each. I want to have a wide range of colours and designs but it is inevitable that I will not have the right one available in the brooch or pendant form. Then I remembered having seen and managed to track down a 2 in 1 finding – it is a brooch pin with a bail soldered on. This means I only have to make one type. I have ordered some of these findings to try out (from Australia) and am keeping my fingers crossed that they arrive in time for me to complete the pieces I have started for the forthcoming markets.

I have spent the last few days trying to think of a name for this ‘brooch/pendant to hang your reading glasses, sun glasses or identity badge from’. Every name Colin and I came up with already existed, as some other object. The only name that did not, was the very first one I thought of – HANGA. I thought of this because it is a brooch/pendant on which you can ‘hang a’ pair of glasses, badge or other item. The name is short and catchy but not too tacky.

Also, co-incidentally, when I looked in the The Reed Dictionary of Modern Maori at work, 'hanga' can be translated as 'build, create, transform, make, compose, construct, generate, shape'. I may need to seek further clarification of this but it is better than 'hango' which is 'shovel'. Whilst an appropriate Maori translation is not essential, as I am making these in New Zealand, an affinity would be good. [I will post some more definitions of 'hanga', when I have completed my research].

So it looks like the Hanga Brooch/Pendant will be the name for my latest creation.


  1. They sound quite clever, and cute ! so i look forward to seeing them at Mission Bay !

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth. I look forward to catching up with you there.